Your Story: Redefined

Conference Panels & Workshops



Industry Panels

big data: Challenging traditional talent management in retail

Retail organizations are facing the challenge of incorporating talent with a higher focus on analytics. What impact does this have on organizational culture? Should companies adjust their recruiting and workforce management policies? Will we see a fundamental shift in the role a CEO plays in this new environment? Explore the organizational implications of introducing Big Data capabilities into retail organizations in this panel.

Kate Gulliver | Global Head of Talent, Wayfair
Sarah Vlasic | Director of Back Office Systems at
Shweta Bhardwaj | Partner, Bain & Co. 
Jill Avery | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 109

challenging consulting norms

How can consulting firms enable flexibility for those pursuing long-term careers in the industry? Panelists will share their personal experiences, including both internal and client work, as well as their perspectives on the role of corporate policy and culture.

Phyllis Yale | Advisory Partner, Bain & Company
Elizabeth Lyle | Principal, Boston Consulting Group
Sabine Awad | Principal, Deloitte
Stuti Gurtoo | Engagement Manager, McKinsey
Deborah Resnick | Career Coach at HBS Career & Professional Development Office [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 107

pathways to Careers in alternate investing

This panel will explore what is required to develop a successful career in alternative investing, through a discussion with professionals from a variety of firms including venture capital and private equity. The panelists will share their diverse career paths and experiences in the industry, as well as their perspectives on what it takes to both break in and succeed.

Kerry Rupp | Partner, True Wealth Ventures
Paula Campbell Roberts | Director, Global Macro & Asset Allocation Team, KKR
Jacqueline Loken | VP, CAVU Ventures
Suzanne Norris | Partner, Victress Capital
Nori Gerardo Lietz | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 108

profit versus impact

As for-profit companies incorporate social enterprise components in their business models, nonprofit organizations must consider whether they too should adapt their business models to become more profit-focused. This panel with executive women in the social enterprise and non-profit industries will discuss how leaders think about and balance the (potentially) conflicting goals of maximizing profit vs. maximizing impact.

Stephanie Khurana | Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Christina Lewis Halpern | Founder & Executive Director, All Star Code
Juliette Blake | Founder & Executive Director, Miss O and Friends
Emily Weiss | Principal, Education First
Sarah Endline | Founder and CEO, sweetriot
Mary K. Wells | Co-founder and Managing Partner, Bellwether Education Partners [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 012

The importance of Women in Technology

This panel will explore the different roles women play in the technology industry. We will hear from women in variety of functions in the tech industry and then shift to a discussion about the role technology plays in the world today.

Ngozi Kanu | Finance Operations, Google
Katie Ng-Mak | Director of Sales, Hubspot
Zohreh Khademi | General Manager of Hardware Product Development, Microsoft
Tiffany Nida | Senior Manager, Product Management, Amazon
Julia Austin | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 111

The investor & investee relationshiP

This panel will explore the nature of the relationships between investors and the people / companies in whom they invest, from the full gamut of investment lifecycles. Conversation will range from entrepreneurs discussing their experiences pitching and interacting with their investors, to investors explaining their thought process when approaching an investment, and post deal advising. The aim is to help the audience understand the personal nature of investment, and make clearer the interactions that lead to a successful partnership.

Anitha Gopalan | CFO, Catalant
Anh Hoang | Co-Founder, Sofregen
Holly McConnell | MD, General Catalyst
Nancy Brown | Partner, Oak HC / FT
Parul Singh | Founder, Founder Collective
Kristin Mugford | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 112

Women Behind the Scenes: Gender Roles in the Media and Entertainment Business

There has been significant discussion regarding the (lack of) representation of women in media (e.g., female-led blockbusters) and creative roles (e.g., female directors). Does this issue also apply behind the scenes for women who work in the business of entertainment? In this panel, executives and leaders will discuss gender roles across the entertainment spectrum and how they impact recruitment, retention, and upward mobility of women in this industry.

Sandy Greenberg | CEO, Terri & Sandy
Elizabeth Giorgi | CEO, Mighteor
Stacy Nagata | Marketing, Planning & Analysis, Netflix
Stacy Sommer |  Supervising Producer, MTV News
Alisyn Camerota | CNN Co-Host [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 110

Women leading healthcare innovation

Hear from women who are at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare space, pushing the boundaries of science and technology to solve some of our generation's most critical problems. Attendees will learn what is happening in healthcare innovation, how the industry is changing, why it matters, and how women are poised to make an impact.

Alexandra Dickson Cheng | Associate Director, Multiple Sclerosis Customer and Marketing Insights, Biogen
Shannon Bergstedt | Business Development and Partnerships, Verily
Ketki Karanam, PhD | Senior Associate, PureTech Health
Julia Cheek | Founder & CEO, Everlywell
Deborah Dunsire, MD | CEO and President, XTuit Pharmaceuticals
Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD | Founder & Managing Director, EXXclaim Capital [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 011


Lunchtime Activities

Industry Networking

Join us in the Williams Room for a casual networking lunch for the following industries. Please refer to table tents for industry location. 

  • Healthcare 
  • Social Enterprise 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • VC 
  • Finance 
  • Tech 
  • Consulting 
  • General Management 

Location: Spangler Williams Room

Why Sexual Harassment Persists and What You (and Your Boss) Can Do About It

Today’s conversation about workplace harassment has brought widespread attention to this form of gender discrimination, and its harmful consequences for people and organizations. We seem to be entering a new paradigm when it comes to acknowledging, identifying, and addressing sexual harassment—but how much has really changed, and where do we go from here? This session will provide a venue for discussing the underlying drivers of sexual harassment, the factors that enable it, and actions that employees, leaders, and companies can take to create meaningful change.

Colleen Ammerman | Director, Gender Initiative, Harvard Business School
Siri Uotila | Research Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Location: Aldrich 112

Admissions Panel

Join us to learn more about Harvard Business School’s MBA program and participate in a Q&A discussion with current students who will reflect on their experiences at HBS. 

Location: Aldrich 009

Executive Education

Sandrine Crener, Ph.D. and Bonnie Tucker, Director of Executive Education will run an information session where you can learn more about HBS Executive Education programs. The event will include a presentation about our programs and an opportunity to ask questions. 

Location: Aldrich 010



Interactive Workshops

Building Your Brand: Creating your Personal Credo

Beliefs drive behaviors. Behaviors drive results. Join us for an interactive session for developing and articulating your personal credo and beliefs.

Lauren Coyle | Division Vice President, DaVita

Location: Aldrich 007

Building Your Personal Board of Directors

Having a dream team in your corner is essential for your success. Most of us are “over mentored and under sponsored” and lack the social currency needed to advance in our careers. In this session, learn the five types of advisors everyone should have on their board and how to build and leverage your robust network for success.

Lisa Skeete Tatum | CEO and Founder, Landit

Location: Aldrich 010

Crisis, Compliance and Change at the World’s Largest Car Company

Join one of the most senior women in the global automotive industry to explore the challenges and opportunities in reshaping a corporate culture across unique brands, geographies, reporting lines and operational units. During this interactive session, Hiltrud D. Werner, the only female member of the Volkswagen Group’s Board of Management, will offer insights and share her own story of embracing change, from her early days as a consultant to the top management level of the Volkswagen Group – the sixth largest company in the world – during one of the most critical periods in the automaker’s history.

Hiltrud Werner | Member of the Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs, Volkswagen Group
Gautam Mukunda | Assistant Professor, HBS [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 008

Get your communication right to navigate the corporate power play

This workshop will provide professional women with empirically-based concepts and practical skills that can help them succeed as dynamic communicators in the workplace. It will address differences in the ways men and women tend to communicate, including insights about body language, facial expressions, use of the voice, and language choices, and offer clear guidance on how to move forward and thrive in today’s corporate world.

Matt Kohut | Managing Partner, KNP Communications
Kate Stookey | KNP Communications

Location: Aldrich 110

How Star Women Succeed (Case discussion)

Join us for an interactive case discussion where we will discuss Carla Ann Harris, an African-American executive on Wall Street to understand her successes and accomplishments, setbacks and challenges. 

Lakshmi Ramarajan | Associate Professor, HBS

Location: Aldrich 111

Personal Finances: Taking Control!

Join Sydney Atkins of Ellevest, a female-focused digital investing platform, to get clear on the realities women face when it comes to their personal finances and professional lives. From navigating the gender pay and investing gaps to the money you don’t want to be leaving on the table, Sydney will share tools and resources to help you ask the right questions and power up your financial future.

Sydney Atkins | Director of Investment Advisory, Ellevest

Location: Aldrich 109

The Power of Negotiation: How to Ensure You Get Paid What You Deserve

59% of people accept their salaries as they are when offered, but it is as high as 68% for women. This workshop is aimed at encouraging women (and employees in general) to negotiate when presented with a job offer or to ask for a raise when showing a strong track-record of performance in a company. In addition, the workshop will offer advice and present basic tools required for effective negotiation.

Milan Prilepok | Global Leader of Negotiation Service Line, McKinsey & Company

Location: Aldrich 112

The wage gap & what to do about it

This session will showcase current research on the gender wage gap, discussing both drivers of disparity and changes over time. Much of today’s conversation stops there, centering around the past and present situation. This session will go one step further to examine opportunities to reduce the gap going forward. Is it possible for the economy to achieve full equality? If so, when? And most importantly, how?

Genevieve Smith | Project Manager, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) 

Location: Aldrich 107


Thought Leadership Panels

Addressing Implicit Bias

According to a Harvard global online research study, Project Implicit, 76% of people are gender-biased and tend to think of men as better suited for careers and women as better suited as homemakers. Although not explicit, these views are frequently found in the workplace setting and can ultimately affect promotions and career trajectory. This panel will explore the experiences of implicit bias from women of different industries and delve into solutions to address such ongoing issues.

Deanna Singh | Chief Change Agent & Founder, Flying Elephant
Anna Marie Wagner | Vice President, Bain Capital
Gong Ke Gouldstone | Head of Product, Clora
Kathleen L. McGinn | Professor, HBS

Location: Aldrich 111

Changing roles of women in energy

This panel will discuss how roles of women are transitioning in the energy industry as the industry has a macroscopic shift from traditional energy sources like coal, oil & gas to sustainable clean energy solutions (wind, solar etc). The conventional energy industry was very male centric, and this panel will explore the change in gender dynamics as the global focus on renewable energy increases.

Sneha Biswas | Strategic Market Economist, Schlumberger
Katherine MacDonald | Director of Strategic Partnerships, Greentown Labs
Carla Frisch | Director of Climate and Environmental Analysis, US Department of Energy
Mariko McDonagh Meier | Director of Utility Bill Management, EnerNOC
Martha Crawford | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 010

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Research has shown that more diverse companies outperform their peers; however, these results are contingent on the development of an inclusive culture. Come hear from women and men on how they and their companies prioritize inclusion in the workplace. Panelists will share their methods of empowering employees to promote a culture that respects women and other diverse perspectives. 

Lawler Kang | Founder and CEO, League of Allies
Gay Gaddis | Founder, T3
Jennifer Breese | Manager, Corporate Learning Institute, Fedex
Sue Thirlwall | CEO, Skin Laundry
Colleen Ammerman | Director, HBS Gender Initiative [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 011

Evolving the “She-Suite” in the 21st Century

Though there are many high profile female CEOs that grab the headlines, the number of women who are actually in top roles is very low and has been stagnant over the past couple years. This panel will focus on personal stories of barriers facing women who have ascended the corporate ladder, as well as strategies on how to build a larger and stronger pipeline of women looking to lead companies in the 21st century.

Lissy Hu | CEO, CarePort
Tracey Massey | President of the Americas, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Helen Lo | CEO, Lo & Sons
Kristine Langdon | Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry
Kathleen Murray | Principal, McMorran Strategists [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 112

Female Leaders in Turn Around Crises

Research has shown that female managers are often chosen for precarious leadership roles, most commonly in turnaround situations. Are these roles opportunities or risks? Which qualities make women especially well equipped for these types of roles? What can general managers learn from this trend and how can women position themselves for success?

Sheila Smith | Advisor, Gordon Brothers
Lisa Poulin | Former Principal, Deloitte
Gail Horwood | Senior Vice President, Kellogg Company
Lauren Coyle | Division Vice President, DaVita
Mary Ellen Mondi | Vice President Marketing Communications & Digital, Emerson Automation Solutions [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 110

Making it to the Top: Women on Boards

Hear from women who have become captains of industry and now help guide corporations through their role on the board of directors. In 2015, women held fewer than 15% of board seats. This panel is aimed to elucidate the paths our panelists took to become board members, hear their thoughts on how to grow female leadership in business, and discuss relevant industry trends that each grapples with to lead their organization.

Pamela Craig | Board Member, Merck and Akamai Technologies
Cynthia Hallenbeck | Board Member, Walker & Dunlop
Nkiru Balonwu | Founder and Managing Partner, RDF
Christiana Smith Shi | Board of Directors UPS, Mondelez International, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Founder of Lovejoy Advisors
Kristin Mugford | Senior Lecturer, HBS [MODERATOR] 

Location: Aldrich 108

Planning for Career Success in a Dual Career Household

Partners in a dual-career household face difficult choices as they seek to balance pursuing their own success with supporting that of their partner. Hear from women who have navigated these challenges: how do they make the best choices for their career while helping their partner manage his or her career? How do they navigate situations where one partner has an opportunity that requires the other to make a sacrifice? And on top of two demanding careers, how do they maintain a healthy relationship and family life?

Jody Greenstone Miller | Co-Founder and CEO, Business Talent Group
Anddria Clack-Rogers Varnado | Head of Strategy, Williams-Sonoma
Amy Edmondson | Professor, HBS
Kris Klein | Senior Advisor, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Susanna Gallani | Assistant Professor, HBS [MODERATOR]

Location: Aldrich 107

Understanding Gaps in healthcare for women

There are great health disparities for women related to access, quality, and affordability of medical care -- it often feels as though men are making decisions about the availability of women’s health. Furthermore, there are gender disparities across the healthcare industry, from payer/provider, health IT, biotech, and pharmaceuticals. This panel will provide insight into the areas within healthcare that women are under-represented or adversely impacted, and consider ways to close these gaps in the future.

Jennifer McCleary-Sills | Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Deborah Sundal | Senior Vice President of Product Architecture, Enterprise Research and Development, UnitedHealth Group
Ailis Tweed-Kent, MD | CEO, Cocoon Biotech Inc. 
Lauri Union | Board Member, Planned Parenthood Massachusetts League
Patricia Martone Carrolo | Director, Integrated Healthcare Services, IBM

Location: Aldrich 012

Panels & Workshops are subject to change